Doom Patrol: Pain Patrol
July 3, 2020 8:45 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Rita, Larry and the Chief fall into a gruesome Clive Barker meets Takashi Miike nightmare, as meanwhile Vic begins a bittersweet romance and Cliff tries yet again to reunite with his family, all somehow without inducing complete tonal whiplash. Plus! A super depressing Nick Cave song montage!
posted by kittens for breakfast (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Random notes:

*Red Jack's lack of backstory and sudden appearance felt so arbitrary that at first I thought I missed something, but no: he really is just here at the exact moment the story requires him to underscore a contrast between the Chief and Literally Jack the Ripper. This doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as one might think -- making metaphors literal is kinda what superhero stories are all about -- but I was surprised no effort was made to explain Red Jack's deal. It's fine, though.

*Season one went straight-up horror movie more than a few times, but this was more visceral than anything I remember. It wasn't until Rita and Larry freed the butterflies that I was sure the people Red Jack was torturing were even real -- who were they? Why them? Again, maybe these aren't terribly important questions.

*Red Jack's victims becoming butterflies seemed like a metaphor for the trope of people blossoming via suffering, which one could argue is our heroes' entire raison d'etre. In fact, though, I think the show is arguing that suffering in itself is not worthwhile -- it's just suffering. (Probably unrelated: a similar motif is explored in Elizabeth Hand's excellent short story, "Cleopatra Brimstone.")

*Driller Bill getting in touch with her feelings was earnestly endearing. She was really trying to make this work!

*Dorothy seems to be the daughter that Cliff, Jane, and probably Larry all need, but I feel sorry for the respective biological progeny of Cliff and Larry, who don't need any of this bullshit at all.

*Poor Vic.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:24 PM on July 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

I kind of glazed over this one. I thought Red Jack was kind of silly.

But I really admired the butterfly wing CGI. And of course, the acting on this show is consistently great.
posted by Catblack at 8:18 AM on July 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Exploring Vic and Roni's damaged bodies was painful, including the juxtaposition of not feeling anything.

Rita seems to favour slingback heels, were those particularly popular at some point in time?
posted by porpoise at 4:35 PM on July 5, 2020

I found it very interesting how mostly when Red Jack wanted to inflict pain, he just did the stabby stabby, but when it came to the Chief and Larry, he tortured them with the pain they've caused (or could cause) others. I'm sure that is a much more delicious tier of pain.

Once again, Rita saves (part of) the day not through her powers but through just being there for Larry, and being his friend at a time when he'd lost everyone. (Though I guess her condition has the side effect that she can heal from radiation burns? I'm not sure how much of that tableau was real and how much was an illusion, like the illusion that Chief was in the Robotman body.) Rita and Larry smashing the glass to release Red Jack's victims was incredibly moving.

Cliff ranting profanely with that completely inexpressive face is always funny but dude, you need to learn to take it down a notch. You're at a ten when I need you to be around a six. Also it's great that he has eyelids. Him blinking always makes me laugh, that that's the one moving part he gets to have on his head.

The Vic and Roni story is sweet and tragic. It turns Roni's name is Roni Evers, which is maybe just an easter egg, or maybe a hint at the future for her character (theoretical spoiler here).

Nice to finally meet Dr. Harrison in the Underground! All hail the Recreator.
posted by ejs at 5:18 PM on July 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

Danny? fuck.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 4:29 AM on July 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I literally gasped when Dorothy broke Danny.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:05 AM on September 21, 2020

For me everything was trumped by the destruction of Danny. Right in the feels.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:24 PM on June 12, 2021

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